08.21.17

New Survey: Millennials Learn More from Technology Than from People by Tim Elmore

growingleaders.com

In June of 2017, our organization, Growing Leaders, collaborated with Harris Poll to conduct a survey and discover the perspectives of various generations in the U.S. The survey looked at how different generations feel prepared for adult life; whether they had/have an adult mentor preparing them for adulthood; how overwhelmed they are by daily life and the role technology plays in learning.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll from June 28-30, 2017 among 2,264 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older. Some of the results were quite profound.

  • 70% of U.S. adults say children growing up today will not be ready for adult life (i.e., life after graduation from school).
  • 2 in 3 U.S. adults (66%) say that when they were in their teens, they had an older adult (other than a parent) who positively impacted their life. Baby Boomers age 65+ (59%) are significantly less likely to agree with this than all other age groups, but particularly Millennials age 18-34 (71%).
  • Nearly 3 in 5 U.S. adults (58%) say they learn more information from technology than from people. Millennials age 18-34 (69%) are significantly more likely to agree with this than those ages 45+ (50%).

So, let’s interpret what these numbers seem to be telling us.

First, while all generations agree that we need adult mentors to help us prepare for life and leadership, the youngest generation surveyed says they learn more from technology than they do from people. So, seasoned veterans either need to:

a. Find a way to connect with the younger generation online and invest in them via a screen—since it is their natural habitat. In this option, we discover ways to redeem social media for constructive purposes.

b. Encourage them to meet face to face, believing some skills or qualities are better cultivated that way than on a screen. Hence, we give them what they need—not necessarily what they want.

If we believe there are soft skills (employability skills) that cannot genuinely be learned and practiced on a screen, we must engage our young adults in meaningful conversation and experiences that convince them of this as well. This means we have to be more than “talking heads” downloading information to students. We must create environments that magnetically attract the young and coach them. While 7 in 10 Millennials say they have an adult in their life, screen time still prevails, and they don’t feel ready for the leap from backpack to briefcase.

Here is another takeaway from the survey.

A large percentage of respondents regularly feel overwhelmed with everything going on in their daily life. However, the generational difference is substantial with 59 percent of Millennials significantly more likely to agree with this statement than those age 45+, at 32 percent. In short, the younger the person, the more likely they are to feel overwhelmed by everyday life.

As I dug through the findings, a conclusion came to light. At least so far, content on a screen has failed to prevent a person from angst, or feeling overwhelmed. In fact, quite the opposite. The more time we spend on screens, the more likely we are to feel overwhelmed by the information. There is a direct parallel between the rise in social media and the rise in anxiety among adolescents and twenty-somethings.

My Conclusions

The findings indicate to me that the need of the hour is face-to-face mentors. Real-life experiences, not virtual ones. Genuine relationships, not social media connections. Authentic conversations full of transparency and trust, not Tweets or Snapchat videos condensed to a few sentences. We need depth—not breadth.

Emory professor and author Mark Bauerlein recently said something that may explain a phenomenon in America today: “Students spend less discretionary time with adults than in former generations. They have never been so present with each other (online) than they are today.”

In times past, one chief element that prepared students to move from graduation to their career was the time they spent with adults who, in many ways, apprenticed them for adulthood. This would include educators, family members, coaches and employers. This survey indicates many Americans wonder if that’s working anymore.

Today almost one-half of the world’s population is 21 years old or younger, and they’re poised to lead our world into the future. This survey tells us we, as a society, have progressed into a new reality. Most of us don’t believe kids will be ready for adulthood when it arrives. Our young people don’t need us for information, but they need us for interpretation. Adults must find a way to pass on timeless values and principles our young will need, regardless of the complex world in which they live.

08.14.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
raying is not about getting God to give us what we want; it is about learning to want what God wants to give. #deSilva
If we hope to mentor our kids and foster their leadership gifts-we must understand how they think and the world they live in. #elmore
The best way world views are shaped is in the context of relationships. #McDowell
Believe that change is possible. Believe that grace works. Don’t give up — just give everything up to Him. #voskamp
 
 
FYI:
1. Has the Smart Phone Ruined a Generation… https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/?inf_contact_key=5fce34c0c9ddadab40399a40ae6ac0515ab199b1fb7f5ed71ae437d2d05b8873
2. Gen Z Research from UK… https://www.bpi.co.uk/assets/files/MIDiA%20Research%20Gen%20Z%20Report.pdf?inf_contact_key=c9b48c18e86f894990c221a4fc8d883ef339a1312e1907a97bf0afd3a3e6d80e
3. Broken Trust with Teenagers… https://www.heartlightministries.org/2017/08/picking-broken-pieces-shattered-trust/?utm_source=CC+Master+List&utm_campaign=3b2a85d0c0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5926458580-3b2a85d0c0-126726953
 
4. FAN Favorite Youth Ministry Books… by youthspecialties.com (below)
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
The One Thing That is More Important Than Your Reputation by Tim Elmore
Are You in Charge of Your Kids or Are They in Charge of You? by Tim Elmore
How to Teach Kids Who Respect – NOT! by Carmen Kamrath
“I don’t believe in anything anymore”: How to respond when young people doubt God by Brad Griffin
 

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

Ideas on using social media.. 3.5 minutes
https://youthministry.com/using-social-medias-stories/?utm_source=bm23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Watch+Now&utm_content=YM_20170807_Content&utm_campaign=08/07/2017&_bta_tid=41331316245476417335822032074687714161699307345621509658686028812822610397407609900005661492759565867525
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
The Enemies of Patience

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things. –Galatians 5:22-23

We all have things that trigger our impatience. Maybe for you it’s traffic, or kids, or being late, or parents, or your spouse. But, what is it that actually fuels impatience in our lives? I think there are three big enemies of patience:

1. Overload. We try to cram too much activity into our schedules and this results in a lifestyle that has no margin. It leaves no breathing room. So when we find ourselves running behind, it breeds impatience. When you live a life with no margin, any little mismanagement or unforeseen circumstance can result in losing your patience.

2. Unrealistic Expectations. Many of us place high expectations on those closest to us. Typically, these people are our spouse, kids, and closest friends. Then, when they don’t live up to our expectations, we grow impatient. But, the truth is that people cannot possibly live up to every expectation (many of which are unspoken) that we place on them. People aren’t perfect and sooner or later, they won’t live up to our expectations.

3. Pride. Impatience rears its ugly head whenever pride is challenged. When we selfishly think we deserve better treatment than we receive, our egos puff up and our impatience blows out.

I wish there were some easy answers for resolving these enemies to patience. But, these are issues that most Christians continue to wrestle with throughout their lives. I know that I do.

The bottom line is that we need to continually pursue the reign of God’s kingdom in our lives, where we say, “Not my will Lord, but Yours.” When we do this, we begin to see new options for how we can respond. We see that we don’t have to walk hand-in-hand with the enemies of patience. When someone smacks our face, we can turn and give her the other cheek. When someone wants our shirt, we can offer him our coat as well. When someone forces us to walk a mile on his behalf, we can walk a second mile voluntarily.

Each day we face choices where we either embrace the enemies of patience or embrace God’s kingdom. As we seek His kingdom, patience grows. Our patience changes us, and it changes others as well. Today, choose to allow God to reign in you and grow the fruit of patience in your life.

How to get where you don’t know you are going by Kurt Johnston

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we knew where we were headed?  Sure, like many people, you’ve probably made some long term goals and have a path of sorts you hope your life journey takes you. Maybe you’ve even gone the extra mile and met with a life coach who has helped you learn more about yourself than you know what to do with.

Because I’ve been in youth ministry for quite a while, I’m often asked what it takes to last in ministry…how did I get where I am?   Honest answer: I don’t know! I had no idea when I began ministry as a junior high pastor back in 1988 that I’d still be doing it….and enjoying it!

The reality is none of us really know where we’re headed. Sure, we make our plans, but God often times has plans of His own that you could have never predicted (P.S. They are ALWAYS better than your plans).  I try not to make promises because I’ve been guilty of breaking far too many in the past, but I’d like to make one here: Your life will not turn out the way you’ve planned. I promise. Money-back guarantee.

Discouraged?  Don’t be!  Remember this: When you don’t know where you’re headed, Remember…God knows where he’s taking you!  Your future is in His very capable hands, and he has amazing plans for it.

But what do you do in the meantime?  What do you do on your road to where you don’t know you’re headed? How do you get to where you don’t even know you’re going?

THREE THOUGHTS:

EMBRACE THE AMBIGUITY

I’ve discovered something over the years. Humans seem to crave clarity and God seems incredibly comfortable not providing it.  Pick your favorite person in Scripture and reread their story. Odds are it is chuck full of ambiguity and uncertainty. Embrace the ambiguity of life.  Hug it out with the uncertainty you encounter on a daily basis. Might as well, because it’s here to stay.

PERSEVERE THROUGH ADVERSITY

Think about your favorite bible character again.  Not only was their life marked with ambiguity, but I’d be willing to bet there was a fair amount of adversity, too!  Ministry is tough. There’s adversity with parents, with students, with volunteers, with other staff members and with the church janitor….and that’s all just on Sunday!

When I’m asked how I’ve lasted in youth ministry, my typical answer is a fairly simple one: I refuse to quit.   When ministry has felt brutally tough, I’ve refused to quit.  I’m not an awesome youth pastor, but I’m a stubborn one!  On your way to where you don’t know you’re going there will be times you have to dig in your heels and simply persevere through the adversity of the moment, minute, month or year.

REST IN HIS AUTHORITY

I love this verse from Job’s life; a life marked by a season of tremendous ambiguity and adversity.

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”  Job 42:2

God is the ultimate authority for where your life and ministry are headed. The creator of the universe; the one who knit you together in your mother’s womb, spoke calm to a raging sea and raised Himself from the dead has a plan and purpose for your life, and nothing can thwart it.  Like Job, it may be valuable to simply rest in your heavenly Father’s authority from time to time.

Life is a journey. Throw youth ministry into the mix and things get bonkers in a hurry.  There’s simply no way to accurately chart your course.

You, my friends, are on a road to God knows where!  But remember….God knows where!

 
FAN Favorite Youth Ministry Books… by youthspecialties.com

So in no particular order, here were some of the fan favorites and why they were chosen.

DIVIDED BY FAITH, by Smith and Emerson—great resource if you’re building towards a multicultural church/youth ministry.

YOUR FIRST 2 YEARS OF YOUTH MINISTRY, by Doug Fields—comprehensive book to help you not only survive, but thrive during the beginning phases of your youth ministry career and prepare for the long haul in ministry.

SUSTAINABLE YOUTH MINISTRY, by Mark Devries—in this book Devries pinpoints problems that cause division and burnout in addition to dispelling strongly held myths. He does all of this while providing practical tools and structures that church leaders need to lay a strong foundation for a youth ministry not built around personality or trend.

THE MINISTRY OF NURTURE by Duffy Robbins—a practical, in depth look at leading your kids into discipleship.

ADOPTIVE YOUTH MINISTRY by Chap Clark—the focus of this book is to help you learn how to integrate emerging generations into the family of faith, helping young adults become active participants in God’s redemptive community.

TAKING THEOLOGY TO YOUTH MINISTRY by Andrew Root—focuses on addressing key theological ideas in a modern youth context.

THE MASTER PLAN OF EVANGELISM by Robert Coleman—this book reminds disciple makers to teach to the masses, model to large groups, mentor a few, and multiply yourself through 1 or 2 people.

SEARCHING FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT by Donald Miller—this book reminds us that relationship is God’s way of leading us to redemption.

YOUTH MINISTRY MANAGEMENT TOOLS 2.0: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE YOUR MINISTRY by Mike A. Work and Ginny Olson—it honestly simplifies all of the practical essentials, gives you sample forms and provides a quick primer on background checks, medical releases, etc.

THE THEOLOGICAL TURN IN YOUTH MINISTRY by Kenda Dean and Andrew Root—the book helps you to reflect on your own practice of theology, and learn how to share that theology through rich, compassionate conversation and purposeful experience.

LETTERS TO A YOUTH WORKER by Mark Devries—this book allows you to have some of the best youth ministers in the country ride shotgun on your journey by providing wisdom and insight into practical and effective youth ministry.

PRESENCE-CENTERED YOUTH MINISTRY by Mike King—this book gives shape to what it means to develop a ministry where kids learn what it is to love and follow Christ through the classic disciplines and potent symbols and practices that have sustained the church over the centuries.

LOVE DOES by Bob Goff—this book is a light and fun, unique and profound read with the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude and just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

GOSPEL-CENTERED YOUTH MINISTRY—both practical and theological, the authors work to explore how each ministry activity serves to teach, form and equip our teens with the gospel.

GOSPEL-CENTERED DISCIPLESHIP—outlines a spiritual transformation through the work of the gospel in an intentional relationship between shepherd and sheep.

CHOOSING TO CHEAT by Andy Stanley—a great book for setting healthy boundaries around your team so that you can effectively serve your family and serve in your ministry.

BECOMING A COACHING LEADER by Daniel Harkavy—this book shows how coaching makes developing people a high-payoff activity. It allows you to equip tomorrow’s leaders today. And it gives you the ability to improve performance while raising the quality of life inside and outside of the ministry.

GETTING TO YES AND CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS—this book is useful for learning to navigate the important church staff and parenting issues that go with student ministry.

DON’T DO THIS by Len Kegler and Jonathan Hobbs—helps rookie youth leaders to know some things that may be more advantageous to stay away from in their youth ministry journey.

PRACTICING PASSION by Kenda Creasy Dean—does a great job of placing youth ministry in the context of the local church, and the responsibilities that each has for the other.

THE YOUTH BUILDER by Jim Burns—this book can help you to make a life-changing impact in the lives of your young people.

PLAYING GOD by Andy Crouch—this book looks at the concept of power and how we’ve made it a dirty word and how the misuse of power causes many different problems in the world.

YOUTH MINISTRY 3.0: A MANIFESTO OF WHERE WE’VE BEEN, WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE NEED TO GO by Mark Oestreicher—in this book youth workers will explore the voices of other youth workers, why we need change in youth ministry, from a ministry moving away from dependence on programs, to one that is focused on communion and mission.

MY FIRST 90 DAYS IN MINISTRY by Group—practical, from the trenches advice to keep you on safe ground as you navigate a new church culture, settle into a ministry role, and sort through a pile of priorities.

THIS WAY TO YOUTH MINISTRY by Duffy Robbins—in this book thirty-year youth ministry veteran Duffy Robbins explores the theology, theory and practice of youth ministry to serve as a field guild to helping you navigate this unique calling.

THE GODBEARING LIFE by Kenda Dean and Ron Foster—in this book the authors offer a spiritual primer and practical guide for those who pastor young people.

REVISITING RELATIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY by Andy Root—this book shows that true relational youth ministry shaped by the incarnation is a commitment to enter into the suffering of all, to offer all those in high school or junior high the solidarity of the church and gives us guidance for how to effectively enter in.

Blessings, Kendall

08.14.17

“I don’t believe in anything anymore”: How to respond when young people doubt God by Brad Griffin

Fulleryouthinstitute.com

“I don’t believe in anything anymore. Christians are all such fakes.” 

These were the words her 17-year-old son yelled just before she walked out the door for our meeting. Even for a mom who can handle a fair amount of conflict and pushback from her kids, this was a heavy blow. It was meant to be.

Teenagers can be like that. They know just how to press on our sensitive spots and trigger our reactive emotions. What they don’t know is how much fear and uncertainty these moments evoke in us. They aren’t yet sophisticated enough to realize that our first responses, like theirs, can unhelpfully shut down the conversations we really need to have.

Adolescents and emerging adults need parents and trusted adults in their lives who will receive these moments perceptively. To see what may be under the harsh words, sarcastic questions, or searing critique about faith, Scripture, or the church. Because often what’s underneath those outbursts are really important questions.

Is God real? 

Why are Christians so messed up?

Can I trust the Bible? 

Is it wrong to doubt God? 

Through our research at the Fuller Youth Institute, we’ve learned in our Sticky Faith and Growing Young studies that it’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith—it’s silence. Young people who have safe relationships in which to share their questions and struggles tend to have stronger faith, to carry that faith into young adulthood, and to share their faith with others more often. When articulated, young people’s questions open up exploration of both doubt and faith.

The problem tends to be that as parents and leaders, we typically get caught off guard by these questions. Like my friend, we’re on our way out the door to a meeting. We’re wrapping up an already-over-time small group session. We’re exhausted and have very little capacity to give a “Jesus-answer” worthy of a decent Christian, let alone one who is supposed to be a spiritual leader to their children or to others’. We feel outmatched and underprepared.

In these moments, we want to remind you—and ourselves—of a few powerful phrases. Our team has created a set of wallpapers for your computer and phone this month to help you remember, share, and use these two responses:

1. Yes, you can ask that

2. I don’t know, but…

First, every young person needs to know that all of their questions, complaints, doubts, and struggles have a hearing. They need to know that you—and God—are going to hear and hold the questions without pushing the young person away. They need to know that God is big enough to receive these questions and is not afraid of them (just read the psalms or Job for examples!) They need to know that they are not somehow deficient, unfaithful, or unworthy, and that their questions won’t cause God to love them any less.

Second, young people need to know that we don’t have the answer to every question. It isn’t the goal of mature Christian adulthood to be “answer-people” or to have everything figured out. In fact, the more we lean into faith, the more we realize it is marked at every turn by mystery, unseeing, complexity, and paradox. As most of the biblical witness portrays, these features deepen our awe, wonder, and humility before God; not our certainty, arrogance, or pride.

It may push against everything we’ve been conditioned to say, but often a helpful first response to a tough question can start with the words, “I don’t know, but …”

This isn’t just a stall tactic, but a way to both affirm the question and create a holding space for it. We might say, “I don’t know, but that’s an important question,” or “… I wonder that, too,” or “… let’s work on that together. Who could help us find out more?”

If you’re like me, you hear pithy, helpful phrases all the time but can never remember them at just the right time you need them. This month we are helping you out with these wallpaper reminders. Use them, and share them with parents, ministry leaders, and any adult who cares about young people.

Together we can become safe spaces—safe relationships—in which teenagers feel invited to bring their real selves, their hard questions, and their deep frustrations, and truly be heard.

Yes, it’s okay to ask that. Even if I don’t know the answer.

08.07.17

Hi! Happy August!! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
Complaining is like throwing up. Afterwards, you feel better but then everyone around you feels sick. #gordon
 
A happy person is not a person with a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. #Downs
 
When the enemy points to everything I’m not, I point to everything God is. #furtick
 
God’s grace is not just an addition to our life. It’s a contradiction to our life. #keller
 
As leaders, we are never responsible for filling anyone else’s cup. Our responsibility is to empty ours. #Stanley
 
 
FYI:
 
1. Top Questions to ask college students before they head to school… https://fulleryouthinstitute.org/blog/questions-college-students?utm_source=E-Journal+%2F+Parent+Update&utm_campaign=67215008f2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e88a54a953-67215008f2-312895925&mc_cid=67215008f2&mc_eid=4cf06de2c7
 
2. Gen Z most diverse media users… http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2017/youth-movement-gen-z-boasts-the-largest-most-diverse-media-users-yet.html

3. How Living Counter-Culturally Can Lead to Your Kids’ Resentment of Christianity… http://christianmomthoughts.com/how-living-counter-culturally-can-lead-to-your-kids-resentment-of-christianity/

Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
Addressing Sexuality With Teenagers by Michael Guyer
6 Tech Habits Changing the American Home  by Barca Group  
Do Christian Teens Really Believe in Jesus? by Group Magazine
One Act That Improves Kids’ Emotional Health by Tim Elmore
 

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

I may have posted this years ago but it is absolutely awesome! Totally worth your time!!
 
 
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
God’s Timing 
 
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1
God’s timing can be frustrating, but it eventually leads to freedom. Perhaps you strongly desire something or someone. It is right at your fingertips but you can’t have it now and that frustrates you. The timing is not right, for whatever reason. It may not be right for you and/or it may not be right for the other person. However, you can allow this frustration to lead you to freedom.  
God may be protecting you from failure because you are not ready for the grueling responsibility that lies ahead. There are still valuable lessons to learn where you are. It’s like your last semester of school. You are way past ready for graduation, but there are still final exams to study for and pass. You need to do your best where you are before moving on to God’s next assignment.  
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days”  (John 11:5-6).
Timing is everything. Your son really needs you right now during this challenging stage of his life. The insecurities of his teenage years are eating him alive. He needs extra attention and time from you to navigate through this uncertainty. This is a season, a season that will not be repeated. Your career can wait; children can’t. Yes, children are resilient and may not even say anything during difficult times, but you can rest assured that they will never forget that you were there for them. The security and confidence you sow into your children will stay with them for a lifetime. Your absence will stick with them as well. Fearful and insecure adults were once fearful and insecure children. So, allow this season of life to build bridges rather than barriers between you and your children. It is just for a moment in time. In the blink of an eye, they will be gone. 
 
Learn to celebrate various seasons of life. Do not resist them; embrace them. Join the wonder of their realities. The marriage of your adult child is imminent, so celebrate the occasion. Do not let the stress of the details and the outlay of cash rob you of the joy connected to this momentous occasion. You can rest in the fact that He has brought these two together. This is what you have prayed for concerning your child. You have prayed for a marriage into a God-fearing and Christ-honoring family. You have prepared them the best way you know how.
Ultimately it is in God’s hands. As the father and the mother of the bride or groom, learn how to let go and allow them to become one flesh. Your relationship will look different going forward. This is a new stage of life. So, do not try to control them. Let go of them and leave them in God’s hands. Your ability to adapt and adjust to new seasons of life has a direct correlation to your joy and happiness. God’s timing can be a surprise.  It is rarely early and never late.
Jesus understood this when He said to His mother, “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4).
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the patience to wait on Your best and the humility to glorify You in the process, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
 

Why It’s Worth It

Ministry–let’s be real shall we–it isn’t always glorious. It isn’t always rewarding. It isn’t always easy.

You don’t usually hear that right out of Bible college or seminary. You hear just the opposite: You’re equipped! Thousands like you have gone before. Take the world by storm. Be Jesus to the masses.

Ministry is Hard

The reality is this: ministry is difficult, messy, full of broken people, and not about you. This can lead us to some very hard places. Places of doubt and anxiety. Feelings of am I good enough? We may question our calling and if it’s time to move on. 

I’ve been there. In fact, if I were completely honest, I’ve been there more times than I care to admit. I just walked through a period exactly like I described. Feelings of doubt. Questions of calling. Hurt. Depression. Worthlessness. Asking God why…

The truth is I questioned if I was to be in ministry after a very, very hard season. A season that saw much pain and grief. A season marked by a lack of affirmation, being moved without understanding why and wondering why we were leaving good students who we loved and cared for.

“God,” I cried out, “Why does it hurt?! Did You not call me to this? Why is there so much pain? Such heartache? Do you have a plan? Am I washed up?”

Many of you are or have been there. You question why. You wonder if you’re called. You take a break from ministry to heal and consider not going back. You cry…for hours, days, months…you’ve been there. I have too. 

But It’s Worth It

But in walking through this I have seen that it is worth it. That God has a plan. That ministry can and will get better. That there is light at the end of the very long tunnel. That we are called. That the enemy will try to use doubt, inadequacies, hurtful comments, critical natures, and rough patches to try to turn you from being God’s faithful servant.

Brothers and sisters hear me: we are CALLED according to God’s purpose, by the One who foreknew us, and is using us to accomplish His WORKMANSHIP! Ministry was never meant to be easy. We are called to a life of difficulty in ministering to a world that has turned its back on its Savior. There will be moments of SUFFERING, moments of FRACTURING, but also moments of GREAT JOY!

We do not do this for our own affirmation. We do not do this for notoriety. We do not do this to be the best friend of students or to be the most popular youth pastor. We do not do this to be liked or given gifts. We do not do this to be the center. We do this to point to the Center: our Savior.

My friends. My co-laborers. Know that ministry is hard, but it is worth it! We may not always see it on this side of eternity, but know that you can continue to serve because our rest and OUR REWARD IS IN HIM AND HIM ALONE. The author and perfecter of all things! It will get better, God will use you, lives will be changed, and God will say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” Ministry is worth it!

08.07.17

Addressing Sexuality With Teenagers by Michael Guyer

youthspecialties.com

In our families and in our churches, we are far too often late to the conversation about sexuality with our teenagers and reactionary once we speak up.

This should not be the case. The kitchen table and living room are perhaps the best places for this discussion. And the church is called to equip its people to follow Christ and make disciples within our culture. To overcome this we must talk about the issues—homosexuality, same-sex attraction, gender fluidity, pornography, and sexual immorality—and we must do so clearly and compassionately.

Within our cultural climate we cannot retreat out of fear or remain silent out of ignorance in either the home or the church. Now is the time to engage. Now is the time for honest answers to hard questions. Now is the time to listen well and speak truth in love. Now is the time to address the issues of sexuality with our teenagers.

1. WE MUST HELP TEENAGERS SEE THE BIBLE AS THEIR AUTHORITY AND GUIDE

The issue of sexuality is closely connected to the trustworthiness of the Bible for many teenagers. Too many teenagers are not grounded in the Bible enough to discuss a biblical response to the issue and when pressed the Bible does not function in an authoritative way in their life.

Kevin DeYoung is right:

“The challenge before the church is to convince ourselves as much as anyone that believing the Bible does not make us bigots, just as reflecting the times does not make us relevant.” (143)

This challenge means two things:

DON’T SHY AWAY FROM TEACHING WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT SEXUALITY, BUT DO IT WITH GRACE AND LOVE.

Teach what the Bible says about gender, sexuality and purity with clarity. Don’t neglect, dismiss or deny what God has clearly said. However, while what you say is important, how you say it has never been more important. Don’t highlight the issues of sexuality as if it is all the Bible speaks against. Rather, teach what the Bible says about sexuality in light of its bigger picture—the goodness of God’s design for human beings and the good news of God’s redemption. The Bible invites us into something much bigger and better than our broken sexual desires—it invites us to know and enjoy the God who made and redeems us.

DON’T NEGLECT TO TEACH WHY THE BIBLE IS TRUSTWORTHY AND WHY IT FUNCTIONS AS OUR ULTIMATE AUTHORITY. 

Students need to know what the Bible says but they also need to know why they can trust it. This begins with demonstrating a high view of God’s Word and its authority in our teaching. It will also involve showing students what the Bible says about itself and how it is historically reliable. This cannot be taken for granted or only given lip service. It must evident in our practices and explicit in our teaching.

2. WE MUST LISTEN TO TEENAGERS

While there are many important and essential things we need to teach teenagers about gender and sexuality, it is imperative that we learn to listen well. We must be invested and involved in the lives of students so that we have the opportunity to listen. We must also create spaces where students are not only receiving God’s Word but discussing their lives and applying God’s Word to specific areas of it. When it comes to discussing issues of sexuality—especially homosexuality and gender issues—make sure to learn the stories of students who are struggling with these issues or have friends who are.

Many teenagers fear being labeled judgmental or intolerant, especially when they have friends who identify as homosexual or as transgender. We need to hear this struggle and speak directly to it with grace and truth.

3. WE MUST BE PATIENT WITH TEENAGERS

This topic cannot be addressed in a sermon series and then put on the shelf. It must be addressed faithfully as we teach through the Bible in our ministries. It must also be addressed personally through discipleship relationships. In the home, parents must be equipped with resources to discuss these issues with their children around the dinner table. In light of our current cultural climate, many teenagers will likely take a soft stance on these issues and maybe even disagree with the clear teaching of God’s Word, especially when it comes to its political aspects (i.e. same-sex marriage). Please don’t misunderstand, this is not an agreeing to disagree position.

While we cannot compromise the consistent biblical witness about God’s design for gender or sexuality, we must also not cut off conversations with students the first time they push back against it. Like all areas of discipleship, we must commit to patiently walk with teenagers as they come to know and grow up into Christ.

4. WE MUST KEEP OUR FOCUS ON THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL

Whatever we do, regardless of the issue we are addressing, we cannot shift our focus from the hope of the gospel. Following Christ is hard and it will entail holding unpopular positions within our culture. We should not only make the gospel clear in our teaching, we should show why the gospel is really good news. We should be showing the worth of Jesus in the way we live and what we teach. We should highlight the joy of knowing and being known by our Redeemer. We should show how the gospel really is good news to the lives of teenagers in our culture.

THE GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS FOR ALL PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF AGE, GENDER, RACE OR SEXUALITY.

  • It is good news about God coming to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10)
  • It is good news that our old self is gone and that we now have a new identity in Christ (Col. 3:1-11; Eph. 4:17-32)
  • It is good news that our past does not define us nor do our present circumstance limit the work God wants to do in and through us (Phil. 3:12-14)
  • It is good news about God coming to set us free from the bondage and shame of sin (Luke 4:18-19; 1 John 1:9).
  • It is good news about God forgiving the guilt of our sin (Mark 2:1-12; 1 John 1:9)
  • It is good news about God bearing the full wrath of God in our place (Rom. 3:24-26; 5:1)
  • It is good news about God bringing us out from the rule of sin into his glorious kingdom (Mark 1:15; Col. 1:13-14)
  • It is good news about God making us a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17)
  • It is good news about God bringing us from death to new, abundant life (Eph. 2:1-10; John 3:3-5; John 10:10)
  • It is good news about God beginning the restoration of all things (Rom. 8:19-20), including our broken sexual desires

The gospel holds out a better way for teenagers in the midst of our hyper-sexualized world. Now is the time to press into God’s Word, draw near to our neighbors, and speak and live with compassion and without compromise as we address the issues of sexuality with our teenagers.

08.07.17

Do Christian Teens Really Believe in Jesus? by Group Magazine

youthministry.com

Charlie Chaplin, the legendary silent-film actor, once entered a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like contest at a crowded vaudeville theater in San Francisco. Apparently, the competition was fierce, because the real Chaplin lost. In fact, he didn’t even place among the finalists. Charlie’s own fans didn’t recognize him in their midst—even those who were trying to imitate him.

And my research with more than 800 Christian teenagers shows that if Jesus himself walked through your youth-room door today, most of his “fans” in your group wouldn’t recognize him, either. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, really—I explore, in-depth, a wide range of Jesus-focused questions with Christian teenagers in my book The Jesus Survey (Baker Books). I’ve plucked six of the most surprising things I learned out of the pile:

MOST CHRISTIAN TEENAGERS DON’T BELIEVE IN CHRIST

The Jesus Survey gauged the beliefs of Christian teenagers in four essential “Jesus-focused” areas: • The Bible is trustworthy in what it says about Jesus (Luke 1:1-2; John 21:24; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). • Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14; 10:22-33; Philippians 2:5-7). • Jesus physically lived, died, and came back to life (Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-7, 23:26-24:12). • Jesus is the only way to heaven. (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 1 John 5:12; Revelation 7:9-10).

Results from the survey show that nine out of 10 (91 percent) Christian teenagers say they have significant doubt and sometimes outright disbelief, in one or more of these essentials of their faith. Unfortunately, these results reinforce the findings of a similar study conducted by Thom and Jess Ranier (titled Millennials) and also undergird a number of ongoing trends reported by the Barna Research Group in recent years.

From a denominational perspective, the picture is equally bleak. Four out of five (83 percent) of Baptist teenagers say they have doubts about these basic tenets of their Christian faith. Among Methodist teenagers, that number jumps to 95 percent. In Catholic youth groups, almost all (99 percent) struggle to embrace basic beliefs about Christ. And for Lutherans, Episcopalians, and United Church of Christ students, the number is 100 percent.

The Jesus Survey reveals that only a third of Christian teenagers (31 percent) confidently believe the Bible is trustworthy in what it says about Jesus. This is true even though all they know of Christ is rooted in the biblical account of his life and ministry. Additionally, about two-thirds (60 percent) are either uncertain or unsettled about the issue of the Bible’s trustworthiness. Even more alarming, one out of 10 teenagers in your youth group actually strongly rejects the trustworthiness of the Bible.

Similarly, less than half of Christian teenagers (39 percent) express strong confidence that Jesus is the only way to heaven. On the other side, about one Christian out of eight in our youth groups (13 percent) is fully committed to the opposite: They believe strongly that Jesus is not the only way to heaven. In all, almost two-thirds of Christian teenagers (61 percent) are either unsure or unwilling to commit to the belief that “Jesus saves.”

So what is the truth about the path to eternal life, according to a quarter of Christian teenagers? “Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and other great religious leaders all have equal standing in leading people to heaven.”

RIGHT BELIEF TRANSLATES INTO REAL EXPERIENCE

“Confident Christian Teenagers”—the “tithe” (9 percent) of our youth group kids who buck the trend and express confident, consistent faith in four essential beliefs about Christ—are living a markedly different experience with God than their peers. Consider:

• Eighty-six percent (nearly nine out of 10) of Confident Christian Teenagers strongly agree with this statement: “I’m 100 percent certain that the Holy Spirit of Jesus is present and active in my life today—and I have proof that this is true.” Among all other Christian teenagers, barely half (52 percent) make the same claim. Put that statistical variance of 34 percentage points in the context of a presidential election, and you can quickly see how significant that difference is.

• Likewise, nearly all (94 percent) of Confident Christian Teenagers strongly agree with this statement: “I’m 100 percent certain Jesus has answered one or more of my prayers—and I can prove it.” Again, only about half of all other Christian teens (55 percent) say the same thing.

YOUTH GROUP KIDS ARE SMARTER THAN WE THINK

Over the past several years, fantastical “Christ Conspiracies” have found traction in the media. In the cottage industry of Christian response books, the familiar warning is that conspiracy theories like The Da Vinci Code are corrupting our youth and leading faithful teenagers away from Christ.

Well, here’s some good news from The Jesus Survey: Your kids are smarter than they get credit for being.

For starters, Christian kids are near-unanimous in their rejection of the silly Da Vinci Code premise that Jesus ditched the cross and married Mary Magdalene instead. More than nine out of 10 (92 percent) reject that theory outright. What’s more, in a remarkable show of consistency, Christian teenagers treat hoax theories in general as hooey. Nine out of 10 (92 percent) reject the idea that “Jesus’ death on a cross was some kind of hoax,” and almost all (95 percent) scoff at the idea that Jesus was actually just a myth.

THE BIBLE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE THINK

We’ve already seen that Confident Christian Teenagers who adhere to the four core beliefs about Christ report a markedly stronger daily experience with God. No surprise, then, that Christian kids who believe the Bible is trustworthy are most likely to also believe all four of the core beliefs I’ve listed at the start of this article. For instance:

Among Bible-believing teenagers, four out of five (80 percent) express a consistently strong conviction that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead after his execution. Among kids who are uncertain or unsettled about the Bible, that number drops to less than half (48 percent and 37 percent, respectively). And, among Christian teenagers who simply don’t believe the Bible can be trusted, only one in seven (16 percent) fully believes the story of Easter is true.

Further, within the group of Christian teenagers that strongly affirms “Jesus is the only way to heaven,” virtually all (99 percent) also believe the Bible to be trustworthy. Additionally, roughly four out of five (82 percent) Bible-believers strongly claim that the Holy Spirit is active in their lives, and a similar number (83 percent) confidently claim indisputable proof that Christ has answered their prayers.

This data appears to reinforce the idea that right belief translates into real experience, and suggests that confidence in the Bible’s trustworthiness is the first step toward right belief.

THE BIBLE IS MOSTLY A NON-FACTOR FOR CHRISTIAN TEENAGERS

In 1536, William Tyndale was choked, impaled, and burned on a stake as punishment for translating the Bible into the language of the common man, thereby making Scripture accessible to anyone who could read English. For many Christian kids, that incredible sacrifice was made, mostly, in vain.

Although three-quarters (73 percent) of Christian teenagers say that daily Bible study is important for followers of Christ, a surprising number of our kids (26 percent—about one in four) actually reject that idea. For them, daily Bible study is either optional or completely unnecessary. This seems an unusually large number considering that all the students who took The Jesus Survey were involved in a church youth group at the time of the survey.

Regardless of the perceived value (or lack of value) they place on daily Bible study, practically no Christian teenager reports consistent interaction with Scripture outside of church. Barely 5 percent (about one in 20 youth group members) say they open the Bible on a daily basis. And fully two-thirds of Christian teenagers (67 percent) say they seldom or never study the Bible on a daily basis. Even among Confident Christian Teenagers, only about one in five (19 percent) makes Scripture-reading a daily habit.

Why do Christian kids who attend youth group dismiss daily Bible study in such large numbers? That’s a question that deserves a thoughtful, and personal, exploration.

CHRISTIAN TEENAGERS ARE NOT SHY ABOUT SHARING THEIR FAITH

An overwhelming majority of Christian teenagers (84 percent) believe it is their responsibility to “tell others about Jesus with the intent of leading them to be Christian, too.” Given their earlier hesitation in affirming that Jesus is the only way to heaven, this number pleasantly surprised me. And, in fact, even among teenagers who believe Jesus is not the only way to heaven, more than half (55 percent) still endorse the call of the Great Commission.

What’s more, your kids are actually following up their belief with action when it comes to evangelism. More than half (56 percent) report that “I shared about my faith in Jesus with a non-Christian during the past month.” That’s an encouraging finding—until you begin to think about exactly what these kids are actually preaching.

If the evangelistic content shared by Christian teenagers reflects what they say they believe about Christ, then three out of four (74 percent) are actually spreading untruths about Jesus to their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and more. And that begs one final question: At what point does the sincere, mistaken faith of our teenagers actually become a false religion instead of authentic Christianity?

Again, I have no real answers, but with eternity in the balance, it’s time to take that question seriously and evaluate our own youth groups.

07.31.17

Adolescents in Crisis: Why We Need to Recover Religion by Paul Vitz and Bruce Buff
Nationalreview.com
With no belief in higher meaning, too many young people turn to hook-up sex, drugs, and social media for fulfillment.
Our teenagers and often those still younger are taking their lives in increasing numbers, many seemingly without warning. Many more young people are suffering from depression, anxiety, or related mental-health problems. The reports often link to social media: bullying leading to suicide; serious self-harm in an attempt to deal with emotional pain; suicide pacts; a widely cited post giving reasons for suicide by a child who killed herself; drug abuse and other destructive behaviors; school shootings that often end in suicide.
Other evidence of youthful mental-health problems: Pre-adult suicides are up three to five times (depending on the source) since the 1950s and still increasing. One study reported that 10 percent of the young are taking anti-depressants. In “Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright,” Susanna Schrobsdorff  of Time magazine noted that “adolescents today have a reputation for being fragile, less resilient, and more overwhelmed than their parents growing up.” We are also seeing an increase in mental-health issues in college-age students. The average well-being of entering college students has been in decline since the 1970s, when the measuring began. During college years, mental-health problems are on the rise, according to recent studies.
Yet American society today is far better off economically than it was 50 years ago, and we have a better understanding of mental-health problems. Moreover, we now have a great many more psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counselors, and mental-health practitioners than we did even a generation ago. So what’s wrong — what has happened?
Schrobsdorff proposed that the cause for the decline is the social climate that teenagers experience. She attributes this climate to social media, smart phones, and school pressures. These factors are recent, though, and did not emerge until well after the observed decline of adolescent mental health.

A far stronger case can be made for our society’s decline in religious faith as the cause of these mental pathologies in the young. The decline in religion that began in the ’60s has accelerated in the past 15 years and is especially great among young people. A recent Pew report noted that over a third of its young respondents described themselves as “believers in nothing in particular.” Schrobsdorff’s omission of religious decline is one indication of how great the decline in religion has been — and how much our secular culture is in denial on the issue. The media just doesn’t “get” religion.

In America, the transcendent dimension of life has historically been expressed primarily through the Judeo-Christian tradition, whose decline in recent years has created an enormous vacuum in meaning. This vacuum has been “filled” by postmodern nihilism combined with the “deconstruction” — aggressively taught in the academy — of belief in objective truth, goodness, and beauty. Moral relativism now eclipses transcendent meaning. The fragility of many young people — often termed “snowflakes” — shows their emotional vulnerability. They interpret ideas that challenge them as unbearable acts of aggression, and they use harsh and even violent measures to silence disagreeable opponents. In short, the prevalence of political correctness is a clear sign that belief in higher meaning and rational discussion has ceased to function in much of our higher-education system. Furthermore, political correctness is itself a symptom of the unstable mental condition of those who insist on it.
Countless young people now live in a world without any real meaning; they feel there is nothing for them to believe in. Emotional numbness is one of the consequences. They no longer value themselves for their inherent worth and dignity as created by God; they no longer find self-worth in their efforts to lead lives based on truth and love. Instead, many of our young people look outside themselves for validation — to material goods and social feedback. But many find these superficial, transitory, and empty. In addition, the decline of religion has resulted in sexual relations becoming trivialized and deprived of any greater meaning. The “hook-up” culture leaves many wounded young people in its wake.
While the secular class and those victimized by their policies have been shedding their religious beliefs, evidence for the positive effects of religious life has been repeatedly reported by many studies over the past decades. Many of them show that strongly religious people are happier, healthier, and live longer than those with no religious belief and practice. Having faith in God and attributing a religious meaning to life anchors people, directs their efforts to things beyond the material world, protects them against setbacks, and provides supportive community.
What might be done to imrpovee mental health via religious practice? To begin, this is not a problem for government policy. The government just needs to get out of the way — and be less hostile to religion. Recent Supreme Court decisions dealing with religious issues suggest that this will happen.
Individuals can respond in many ways. Fathers and mothers can encourage their children in religious practice centered in family life and encourage them to join serious religious peer groups. Relatives — grandparents, aunts, and uncles — can give valuable advice. For young people drawn to atheism, many recent books address the topic brilliantly (see Alister McGrath’s Twilight of Atheism,for instance). Darwinism, materialism, and atheism have received powerful recent critiques (as in Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos, Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt, and Robert Spitzer’s New Proofs for the Existence of God).
Religious and private schools can make a tremendous difference in their student communities by regularly emphasizing the importance of God and promoting faith.
Business leaders and others in the professions can speak out about their faith in public settings and implement new ideas about how to reach the young.
There have been times in America’s past when religion was in decline and seemed on the way out — especially according to its intellectual detractors. But at these moments, Biblical religion recovered with new movements and energies. We propose that we are now at the threshold of another such renewal. Let us pray so since our secular culture offers no credible reasons to believe in higher meaning. It offers only empty materialist distractions on a slow march to societal suicide. The plight of our young sounds a wake-up call we can no longer ignore.

07.24.17

Five Ways to Respond to Teenagers’ Doubts by Tony Miles

youthministry.com
“I still tell people about how great and accepting our youth group was,” a 30-year-old recently shared with me. When I was his youth pastor years ago, “Mike” never took the big step of becoming a Christian. Back then he described himself as an atheist-meets-Wiccan. He tried to dismiss the Bible with all the classic push back, presenting our volunteer leaders with one doubt-whammy after another.

But Mike kept showing up to every Jesus-centered activity we offered. Friends had invited him to church, thinking we could convert him overnight. When it became obvious Mike wasn’t ready for that big step, we all determined to keep exposing him to Jesus. The challenge was to neither water down the truth nor drown him with debate.

I wish I could tell you that Mike is now a passionate Christ-follower. Honestly, I don’t know because we’ve only recently reconnected. But I do consider that good news. Because our youth ministry built a foundation back then, I still have an opportunity to invest in him now.

That’s not a luxury we can bank on. Eternity is a reality, so there’s an incredible sense of urgency to get teenagers “over the line” in trusting Jesus. When young people express doubts or won’t commit their lives to Christ, what are our options? Do we put them in their place with some theological auto-correcting? Hand them a book? Make them listen to a podcast? Or step back and become as hands-off as possible?

I’m still trying to figure that out. But I’ve learned we can prepare to respond when kids express doubts. Here’s how we responded to Mike back in the day, and to all the “Mikes” who’ve moved through my ministry since then:

  1. “That’s a great question. I don’t know the answer to that today.” Share that you’re on a spiritual journey, too. Explain that it took you time and questions like theirs to get where you are today. Likewise, point out that you have room to grow—and are willing to. Follow up by asking, “What do you say we figure out your question together?”
  2. “If you were to share your question or doubt with Jesus over a meal, what do you think he’d say?” This is less about the “right” answer and more about exploring what someone’s response reveals about their view of Jesus. Point out that not everyone who brought questions to Jesus left satisfied, but they always left changed. He never overtook their ability to believe or disbelieve but always gave them something deeper to ponder.
  3. “Is this a deal-breaker or something you’re just curious about?” We sometimes forget that faith is a relationship with someone. Just as you don’t know everything about everyone you know, you can build something great out of what you do know. I like to invite students to list all their questions and then mark a few as the most important. Explore what you can with them, always pointing to Jesus.
  4. “Who else do you think might wonder about this?” It’s great to find synergy in community, so ask if teenagers are willing to do a short study together on a topic. It doesn’t have to be a one-sided presentation of apologetics; instead, aim for interaction so kids can bring their best thoughts and wrestle with questions in the context of Scripture.
  5. “What have you wondered about in the past that you eventually found a good answer to?” We’re all on a journey of discovering new elements to our faith, just as we come to see many different parts of life differently.

As a teaching metaphor, discuss a piece of artwork that’s only partially exposed in a picture frame. Seeing just part of it is like how we see Jesus: There’s much more to him, and our perspective of that fuller picture grows as we intentionally work to unveil the rest. That means the part of Jesus we know today is true, but not all of him.Even in heaven, elements of God will be beyond us, but we’ll see him clearly, face-to-face (see 1 Corinthians 13:12).

Can you relate? Who’s your “Mike”? How are you coping with doubts and resistance?

07.24.17

How to Tailor Your Lessons to Kids’ Learning Styles by Joyce Platek

childrensministry.com

Want to know how to conquer kids’ learning obstacles? If after every lesson your kids can say, “We came, we saw, we heard, we touched,” they’ll also be able to say, “We conquered!”

Kids experience their world through their senses, and each child has a favored sense that sends more information to the brain than the other senses.

The three primary perceptual preferences or “learning styles” are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

By understanding these three learning styles, you can create lessons that’ll give all your children a better chance of learning.

VISUAL

*Characteristics-Visual learners need to see or observe things closely. Visual learners recognize words by sight, remember faces but forget names, take notes, make lists, have vivid imaginations and think in pictures. Visual learners express emotion through facial expressions.

Jonna is a visual learner. She’s distracted by visual disorder or movement and prefers a neat, meticulous environment. She doesn’t talk at length and becomes impatient when she has to listen for a long time. While her teacher lectures, Jonna will stare, daydream or doodle.

*Lesson Design-In every lesson, provide pictorial or graphic representations and demonstrations. Allow visual learners to read and look at illustrations, charts, and other visual aids. Don’t just tell kids about a topic, but allow them to also read about it.

AUDITORY

*Characteristics-Auditory learners learn best by reading aloud or listening. Auditory learners remember things they hear better than things they see. These students move their lips or subvocalize as they talk out situations and problems. They hum and are easily distracted by sounds. They remember names by auditory repetition but forget faces. Auditory learners express emotion verbally through changes in tone, volume, and pitch of voice.

Brad is an auditory learner. He often talks to others during class because, even though he enjoys listening, he can’t wait to talk. Brad enjoys the sound of his own voice.

*Lesson Design-Provide opportunities for kids to listen to oral reading or a taped presentation. Ask questions and form group discussions to get these kids talking. Encourage dramatic presentations or role-plays. Always read aloud any instructions.

KINESTHETIC

*Characteristics-Kelly is a kinesthetic learner. She sits at the front of a group so she can touch the object of the lesson. In a line, Kelly is frequently told to “keep your hands to yourself!” Kinesthetic learners enjoy touching or doing things. These children aren’t attentive to visual or auditory presentations and so seem distracted.

Kinesthetic learners attack problems physically, impulsively trying things out-touching, feeling and manipulating. When bored, they fidget or find reasons to move. When happy, they jump for joy. When angry, they stomp off.

*Lesson Design-Structure “real-life” situations such as field trips and allow kids to make things. Give these kids objects to touch or feel what they’re learning. Make lessons active by having kids play educational games or run relays.

07.17.17

Hi! I am praying for you right now! 

Daily Prayer Email: Please send ALL prayer requests for your class to: studentcbsprayer@gmail.com
 
Quotes:
God wants to bring you to a place where you are not defined by your dysfunction but by your deliverance. #lusko
When you focus on everything that could possibly be missing, you miss everything that could be possible. #furtick
He who fears not the future may enjoy the present. #fuller
Trust is accepting what God sends into your life whether you understand it or not. #keller
 
FYI:
1. Guide for Teen Slang… https://netsanity.net/teen-slang-parents-guide/?inf_contact_key=212eef2d96d68c5ccc8b2ac124c863d85b4670f59a5b027563136e1e779ff5ca
2. 56 Games Students Love… http://childrensministry.com/articles/list-of-bible-games/?utm_source=internal_children’s_ministry_resource&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=
 
4. Maybe it’s Time to Shut Up… https://www.heartlightministries.org/2017/07/maybe-time-shut/?utm_source=CC+Master+List&utm_campaign=bb35a72359-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_07_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5926458580-bb35a72359-126726953
5. Why Christians Need to Make the Case for Making the Case (Below)
 
 
Here is what I just posted on the blogwww.studentcbsblog.org 
 
Facebook Can’t Replace the Church by Grayson Pope 
Ways to Reach More Millennials at Your Church by Brandon Hilgemann (For churches and reaching millennials… but this applies to our students too!)
Why Big Fun Doesn’t Work & What To Do Instead by Aaron Helman (Blog post for youth pastors but the what we do instead has some great reminders.)
When Pain is All You Have – Why Teenagers Cut Themselves by Jim Burns (Some good info here!)
 

Here are 2 video links I think you might like to see:

http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/67995/stuff?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=stuff-2169778&utm_campaign=fp-07/14/2017-2169778
http://www.worshiphousemedia.com/mini-movies/68153/i-am-his?utm_source=WorshipHouse%20Media%20–%20Around%20the%20House%20(CD%20Update)&utm_medium=email&utm_content=i_am_his-2169778&utm_campaign=fp-07/14/2017-2169778
 
Here are 2 just for you:
 
Why Nothing You Give Up for Christ is Ever Lost 
 
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.   Galatians 2:20

Mark 10:29-30 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life.”

1 Corinthians 3:12-15 reminded me that God notices all the work we do for him and also reminded me that those who know Christ will be rewarded in heaven for what they do on earth.

When I embrace these truths, difficulties take on an eternal meaning and I am bolstered with confidence that nothing in this world can really shake me because nothing that I give up for Christ will ever be lost. Every sacrifice will be ultimately redeemed.

Joy! In Christ, we win and the story ends very, very well.

Perhaps this knowledge is why Corrie ten Boom, the beloved author, evangelist, and concentration camp victim who traveled for over thirty years telling the world about Jesus, said that material things would never be important to her again after her time in Ravensbruck. Corrie had stood at death’s door, and when she did, heaven’s priorities became illuminated.

There is an internal freedom that comes when we realize that what we do here matters for forever, and because it matters for forever, absolutely no earthly happening will ever be able to destroy us. Nothing will ultimately ruin us. No disappointment will keep us down—and nothing that we give up for Jesus will be lost. Not when we give up a job, a home we love, or loved ones as we move across the country and say goodbye. In the end, we win.

What have you given up for Christ? You can be confident that He notices. And, when you work for Him, you are storing up for yourself treasure in heaven that can never be destroyed.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Prayer: Lord, how wonderful you are that you reward those who know you, love you, and do your will. Please help me to live in light of eternity. Amen.

Jesus heals our broken hearts

The physical heart muscle, fed by arteries, pumps and regulates the blood flow that carries oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. If we exercise that muscle through cardiovascular workouts and feed it healthy nutrients, it grows stronger. But let it languish and feed it toxins, and we all know what happens: the muscle grows weak and the arteries get clogged.

The same is true of our spiritual hearts. The heart is the seat of our passions; it drives and compels us to be who we are and act as we do. It is the essence of our character. So what happens if our spiritual heart is fed toxins and we let it languish? It too grows weak, gets clogged, and sends those poisonous toxins pumping through our lives. When shame has been pumping through a heart, over time the heart itself grows toxic. When we are wounded, we leak toxic waste, and that waste poisons us and the people around us — even when we are completely unaware of it.
The reality is:

  • Hurt people hurt people.
  • Broken people break people.
  • Shattered people shatter people.
  • Damaged people damage people.
  • Wounded people wound people.
  • Bound people bind people.

Many of us have been hurt, suffered offense, and then lived with it unforgiven in our lives. But over time God will replace our clogged hearts with His heart of flesh because healthy hearts create healthy and fruitful lives (Ezekiel 36:26). And free people can truly free people.

  • Hurt people hurt people, but helped people help people.
  • Broken people break people, but rebuilt people build people.
  • Shattered people shatter people, but whole people restore people.
  • Damaged people damage people, but loved people love people.
  • Wounded people wound people, but healed people bind up wounds
  • Bound people bind people, but freed people lead others to freedom.
Why Christians Need to Make the Case for Making the Case by J. Warner Wallace
coldcasechristianity.com

Now, more than ever, Christians must shift from accidental belief to evidential trust. It’s time to know why you believe what you believe. Christians must embrace a forensic faith. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Christians living in America and Europe are facing a growingly skeptical culture. Polls and surveys continue to confirm the decline of Christianity (refer, for example, to the ongoing research of the Pew Research Center, including their 2015 study entitled, America’s Changing Religious Landscape). When believers explain why they think Christianity is true, unbelievers are understandably wary of the reasons they’ve been given so far.

As Christians, we’d better embrace a more thoughtful version of Christianity, one that understands the value of evidence, the importance of philosophy, and the virtue of good reasoning. The brilliant thinker and writer C. S. Lewis was prophetic when he called for a more intellectual church in 1939. On the eve of World War II, Lewis drew a parallel between the challenges facing Christianity in his own day and the challenges facing his country as war approached:

If all the world were Christian it might not matter if all the world were uneducated. But, as it is, a cultural life will exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not. To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against the cool intellect on the other side but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether. (C.S. Lewis, “Learning in War-Time,” The Weight of Glory page 58)

Over seventy years ago, Lewis recognized two challenges facing the church: (1) Christians are largely unprepared to make the case for what they believe; and (2) many in the church still deny the need to be prepared in the first place. We are a largely anti-intellectual group, even though the history of Christianity is replete with some of the greatest thinkers who ever lived. In spite of our rich intellectual history, we have arrived at a point where there is a need to make a case for making a case.

Blessings, Kendall